Let’s begin a close examination of Part I of the OCF. This section introduces the part:
50. Part I of the Order of Christian Funerals is divided into three groups of rites that correspond in general to the three principal ritual moments in the funerals of Christians: “Vigil and Related Prayers,” “Funeral Liturgy,” and “Rite of Committal.” The minister, in consultation with those concerned, chooses from within these groups of rites those that best correspond to the particular needs and customs of the mourners. This choice may be assisted by the reflections given in the General Introduction and in the introduction to each rite or group of rites.
“Vigil and Related Rites” we’ll start tomorrow, covering sections 51 through 127.
The funeral liturgy is laid out in 128 through 203.
This reserves 204-233 for the Rite of Committal.
Each rite or group of rites has its own introduction, as described above. As we continue through the rite, these introductions will be carefully examined. As we get to the actual rites, expect the same level of attention for the rubrics. Catholics probably have a greater familiarity with some of the texts for the funeral rites, so I’ll probably focus my attention on little-used options.
Obviously, the planning minister described above, must have a deep familiarity with the possibilities in order to guide an informed consultation with mourners. Remember that two whole parts, III and V are offered to guide the best choice of readings and texts. When appropriate, it might help the mourners understand some of the direction of the rite through a reference to the various introductory sections. A person planning her or his own funeral should certainly consider these before proceeding to the choice of texts and readings.
Comments of your own?